Dr. Bennet Omalu, the famed neuropathologist who inspired the 2015 movie “Concussion,” believes Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa should never take another hit and retire from the NFL.
Tagovailoa’s head injury has been the talk of the NFL after he was carried off the field Thursday against the Cincinnati Bengals. He was diagnosed with a head injury and entered concussion protocol while the Dolphins already ruled him out in Week 5 against the New York Jets.
But there has been controversy involving what appeared to be an apparent concussion suffered in Week 3’s win over the Buffalo Bills. Tagovailoa stumbled in the first half and two offensive linemen had to hold him up. But he returned in the second half to finish the game.
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Tagovailoa’s incident against the Bengals came four days later.
Omalu told TMZ Sports that Tagovailoa needs to sit down and really think about his future.
“If you love your life, if you love your family, you love your children – if you have children – it’s time to walk away gallantly,” he said. “Go find something else to do.”
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Omalu was the one who discovered CTE, better known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a progressive brain disease believed to be caused by repeated blows to the head and episodes of concussion.
Watching the play, Omalu said he believed Tagovailoa “suffered severe, long-term permanent brain damage” when his head hit the turf on a sack by Bengals defensive tackle Josh Tupou.
“Tua, my brother. I love you. I love you as much as I love my son,” Omalu said. “Stop playing. Stop. Hang up your helmet and gallantly walk away.
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“Sometimes money isn’t worth more than human life. Twenty billion dollars isn’t worth more than your brain.”
Tagovailoa was released from the hospital and flew back with Miami Thursday night. He noted that he felt much better just a day after sustaining the injury.
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The Dolphins will enter their game against the Jets with Teddy Bridgewater, Tagovailoa’s backup, as their starter.